Receipt and Inspection
Receipt is an important material management function that concludes the
transportation shipment and collects information for material accountability.
Inspection comprises measuring, examining, and testing to determine
whether the materials provided in the shipment conform to contract
requirements. Paragraph a of Clause 4-1: General Terms and Conditions
and Clause 2-1: Inspection and Acceptance discuss the general
requirements for inspection or acceptance.
Receiving and inspection operations comprise the activities from initial receipt
of the material at a facility (commonly at a loading dock or other designated
receiving point) to processing the material for final delivery or for storage.
Receipt and inspection is a critical control point in the Postal Service's
material system. If these functions are performed correctly, any existing
discrepancies between what is ordered and received will be uncovered, and
errors can easily be corrected at this time, as opposed to later, when the cost
to correct them is certain to be higher.
The receipt of requirements and their inspection must be done accurately to
conserve and protect Postal Service assets, as well as provide required
information to other activities affected by the receiving process. After receipt
and inspection is conducted, it is determined whether the materials will be
accepted or returned, which are addressed in the Acceptance and Returns
topics of the Complete Delivery task of Process Step 4: Deliver and Receive
Each Postal Service stockroom, warehouse, or storage room activity will
have designated receiving points staffed and operated by trained, designated
receiving personnel. All incoming material and related receiving documents
will flow through those designated processing points for control and
documentation. Handbook AS-701, Material Management, provides guidance
on some of these documentation requirements.
The contract or agreement will specify the receiving location, and all incoming
shipments will be directed there (unless otherwise arranged and approved by
an authorized Postal Service representative). Designated receiving areas will
include a receipt staging area. Incoming materials will be delivered first to the
staging area for processing and then to the ultimate consignee or to storage.
Incoming materials must be secured and safeguarded upon receipt. Valuable
commodities, such as computers, must be safeguarded during the receiving
When a shipment arrives:
• Receiving personnel check the goods against the Supplier's
delivery documents (i.e., packing slip, invoices, and bill of lading)
and contractual requirements to ensure that the Postal Service
has actually received the material ordered (this is the basis for
subsequent activities of the Process Invoices and Make Payment
topics of the Make Payment task of Process Step 5: Measure
and Manage Supply).
• The receiving personnel are to visually inspect the shipment to
confirm correct quantity and quality and that no shipping damage
has occurred. All discrepancies must be noted on the receiving
transaction and appropriately resolved with the Supplier.
• In the event that goods are received damaged, the receiving
department holds the goods for further action. When a container
shows evidence of damage or pilferage (resealed or open
containers), this must be called to the attention of the
Transportation Management Service Provider (TMSP) (also
referred to as the Carrier) representative at once and noted on
the receipt bill of lading. Loss and Damage Reporting processes
discussed below should be followed.
• A receiving report is prepared on which the results of the initial
investigation are noted. This is a record of the shipment and the
condition of its contents; it notes variances or discrepancies from
the contractual requirement. If the order is considered complete,
the receiving department closes out its copy of the purchase. If it
is not, the contractual requirement is held open, awaiting
• If the goods are in order and require no further inspection, then
they will be routed to the originating department or to inventory
(e.g., warehouse or stockroom).
• If the goods are not in order or further inspections are required,
then the goods are checked to see whether they conform to
specifications, which includes opening up packaging and
inspecting for concealed damage (no apparent external container
damages, but the product itself is found to be damaged when the
container is opened). When damages are found, follow the
process steps in Loss and Damage Reporting discussed below.
• Postal Service responsibilities after delivery and before Postal
Service acceptance or rejection and notification will be addressed
in the contractual documentation.
When damage or loss is detected, receiving personnel must accept the
shipment from the carrier and note the problem on the carrier's bill of lading.
Receiving personnel should also take pictures of the problem; must notify
Topeka Customer Service; and provide relevant data, documents, and details
in accordance with the instructions found in Handbook AS-701, Material
Management. The receiving department holds the suspect goods pending
Topeka Customer Service determines the Postal Service party responsible to
resolve the problem and forwards all relevant data, documents, and details to
that party, according to the following:
• For goods received via U.S. mail, the Contracting Officer or
internal shipping activity is notified.
• For goods received from a Supplier that shipped f.o.b.
destination, the Contracting Officer is notified.
• For goods received from a Supplier that delivered the goods via
its own equipment, the Contracting Officer is notified.
• For goods received as postal freight, Supply Management (SM)
Operations is notified.
• For goods received that were shipped via TMSP, SM Operations
Topeka Customer Service will provide a monthly summary report of damage
and loss activity to SM Operations for process improvement analysis and
Receiving personnel are responsible for maintaining files on shipments due
in. File contents should be reviewed for planning purposes to ensure fast,
accurate, and orderly receipt processing. When feasible, arrangements for
receiving and storing any large-volume shipments should be made prior to
the shipments' arrival.
Each designated receiving location must account for, and provide evidence
of, a receiving transaction for all material, merchandise, or supplies accepted
by the receiving location. Receiving transaction information must be
maintained in the receiving department and made available to the appropriate
departments (e.g., Accounts Payable) to ensure the timely completion of the
activities associated with the Process Invoices topic of the Make Payment
task of Process Step 5: Measure and Manage Supply.
Receiving transaction information must be adequately safeguarded from
theft, destruction, or unauthorized use. Receiving transactions must be
uniquely identifiable, traceable, and accounted for periodically.
The Supplier's responsibilities for shipment and delivery must be in
accordance with Clause 4-1: General Terms and Conditions (Assignment of
Claims); Clause 2-9: Definition of Delivery Terms and Supplier's
Responsibilities; Clause B-4: Variation in Quantity; and Clause B-7:
Responsibility for Supplies.
If the contract contains a guaranteed-shipping-weight provision, in
accordance with Clause B-23: Guaranteed Shipping Weight, the Supplier is
responsible for the actual weight at the time of shipment for free-on-board
(f.o.b.) origin contracts. If the shipping weight exceeds the specified
guaranteed shipping weight, the Supplier will be liable for any resulting
excess transportation costs.
If required by the contract, the Supplier must furnish samples for the
Contracting Officer's approval. They must be delivered to the Contracting
Officer as specified or as directed. The Supplier must prepay all shipping
charges on samples, pursuant to Clause B-62: Samples.
At the time specified for first article testing, the Supplier must deliver the units
specified in the Schedule to the Postal Service at the testing facility set forth
in the Schedule. The shipping documentation accompanying the first article
must contain the number of the contract and the lot or item identification, in
accordance with Clause 2-5: First Article Approval - Postal Service Testing.
As stated in Clause 2-11: Postal Service Property - Fixed-Price; Clause
2-12: Postal Service Property - Short Form; and Clause 2-13: Postal
Service Property - Non-Fixed-Price, if the Supplier uses Postal
Service-furnished property in a contract after completing the contract with the
Postal Service, the Supplier will either prepare for shipment and deliver f.o.b.
origin or dispose of Postal Service property as the Contracting Officer may
authorize or direct.
Under Clause 2-15: Special Tooling, the Supplier furnishes lists of special
tooling and changes in design to the Contracting Officer. The Supplier then
promptly complies with any request by the Contracting Officer to transfer title
to any items of special tooling by immediately preparing the items for
shipment by properly packaging, packing, and marking, in accordance with
any instruction issued by the Contracting Officer, and delivers them to the
Postal Service as directed by the Contracting Officer.
Inspection is a time-consuming activity for the Postal Service. The Supplier is
responsible for performing or having performed all inspections and tests
necessary to substantiate that the items or services furnished conform to
The inspection type required to ensure that an item meets specification
requirements is determined before the contract is issued. Items may be
• 100 percent inspection
• Sampling - various types of sampling may be used (e.g., single,
double, or sequential)
• No inspection (e.g., if a Supplier is certified through the technique
When authorized in writing by the Contracting Officer, and if the contract
includes Clause B-5: Certificate of Conformance, the Supplier may use a
Certificate of Conformance for supplies or services that would otherwise
require inspection. The Supplier's signed certificate must be attached to the
inspection or receiving report. By issuing a Certificate of Conformance, the
Supplier is certifying that it is furnishing the supplies called for by the contract
and that the supplies are of the quality specified and conform in all respects
with the contract requirements.
The Postal Service will inspect (for preliminary review at receipt, and further if
required) items at destination for:
The Purchase/SCM Team must determine what quality requirements are
needed. In most cases, the Supplier performs all necessary inspection and
testing for conformance before delivery. The Postal Service reserves the right
to inspect the goods at the point of destination. For goods that will not be fully
inspected until they are used, the Contracting Officer must ensure that the
contract does not imply acceptance of any Supplier's terms tending to limit
the period of time during which defects must be reported if redress is to be
Refer to Loss and Damage Reporting above for procedures for documenting,
reporting, and remedying damaged or discrepant shipments and receiving
and reporting concealed damage.
The Contracting Officer's Representative (COR) should verify the compliance
of services rendered by one of the following methods:
• Review delivered product or service for compliance against the
Statement of Work (SOW) and performance requirements
• Surveillance or audit of the work in progress
Pursuant to Clause 4-5: Inspection of Professional Services, the Contracting
Officer may, at any time or place, inspect the services performed and the
products, including documents and reports. In addition to any specific
standards of quality set out in the contract, the Contracting Officer may reject
any services or products that do not meet the highest standards of
Shipping topic, Complete Delivery task, Process Step 4: Deliver and Receive
Acceptance topic, Complete Delivery task, Process Step 4: Deliver and
Returns topic, Complete Delivery task, Process Step 4: Deliver and Receive
Process Invoices topic, Make Payment task, Process Step 5: Measure and
Make Payment topic, Make Payment task, Process Step 5: Measure and
Clause 4-1: General Terms and Conditions (Assignment of Claims)
Clause 2-1: Inspection and Acceptance
Clause 2-5: First Article Approval - Postal Service Testing
Clause 2-9: Definition of Delivery Terms and Supplier's Responsibilities
Clause 2-11: Postal Service Property - Fixed-Price
Clause 2-12: Postal Service Property - Short Form
Clause 2-13: Postal Service Property - Non-Fixed-Price
Clause 2-15: Special Tooling
Clause 2-23: Reimbursement - Postal Service Testing
Clause 4-5: Inspection of Professional Services
Clause B-4: Variation in Quantity
Clause B-5: Certificate of Conformance
Clause B-7: Responsibility for Supplies
Clause B-62: Samples